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LS polls: 16% polling in Jammu and Kashmir till 3 pm

Nearly 16% voter turnout was recorded in two Lak Sabha seats in Jammu and Kashmir till 3 pm on Monday, which are going to polls in the last phase of the five-phased election.

While Leh and Kargil recorded 49.07 and 60.91% turnout respectively, the turnout was dismal in Pulwama and Shopian districts of Anantnag LS seat. Pulwama recorded 1.91% turnout and Shopian 2.64% during this time.

Reports said enthusiastic voters poured out to throng the polling stations in Leh and Kargil districts of cold desert Ladakh region from early morning. However, most of the polling stations wore a deserted look in south Kashmir’s Shopian and Pulwama districts, where polling is being held in the third and final phase of Anantnag Lok Sabha seat.

Polling in Shopian and Pulwama began at 7 a.m. and will end at 4 p.m, two hours earlier than scheduled due to “security reasons.” However, in Ladakh the polling will end at scheduled time at 6 pm.

Authorities have made extra ordinary security arrangements to secure polling stations and ensure safe passage to voters in Pulwama and Shopian. Securing polling stations, preventing militants from disrupting the poll process and ensuring that no law and order situation builds up during the day are the main challenges before the security agencies.

Regional People’s Democratic Party President and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, National Conference candidate Justice (Retired) Hasnain Masoodi and State Congress chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir are locked in a triangular contest in Anantnag constituency.

While separatist groups have asked people to boycott the polls in line with their three-decade-old anti-election policy, Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir based United Jihad Council (UJC) has issued a strong warning to those participating in the polls, asking them to stay away from the poll exercise.

The polls are being held at a time when the State is under President’s rule after the fall of Mehbooba Mufti-led government following withdrawal of support to it by the BJP in June 2018. Source

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